Evening “Walks Through History

Series – 2019

2019 will mark the eighth year of  Licensed Battlefield Guide-led  “Walks Through History.”  Each Tuesday evening, Guides will  lead an evening walk dedicated to a specific topic.  These are ideal for those who desire a more in-depth look at one aspect of the Battle of Gettysburg, or for those simply looking for something to do on a beautiful, and at times not-so-beautiful, summer evening.  Each session is offered for a fee of $30, payable to the Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides.  Purchase six programs and receive a seventh for free. Contact Treasurer Jim Cooke if you wish to take advantage of this option.

When:        Tuesday Evenings throughout the Summer of 2019

Dates:        June 4, 11, 18, 25, July 9, 16, 23, 30, August 6, 13, 20, and 27.

Time:          All programs will run from 5:30 PM until approximately 8:30 PM

Where:       To be provided prior to the scheduled date in joining instructions.

Cost:          $30 per session.  (Buy 6 – get one free); Contact ALBG Treasurer.  Registration opens March 1, 2019

June 4, 2019 Evening Walk   “The 11th New Jersey Volunteers – “I tell you we are going to have a fight”   LBG Bill Trelease

The 11th New Jersey arrived at Gettysburg with 275 men after experiencing the blood bath of Chancellorsville. Part of Carr’s 3rd Corps brigade they will be placed in a critical position along the Emmitsburg Road on the afternoon of July 2, 1863. Here they will come under attack by both Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade and Wilcox’s Alabamians, two of the toughest units in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. By the end of the day, the 11th will have suffered over 50% casualties, a figure that included almost every officer on the field, yet somehow managed to successfully get itself out of an extremely precarious position. We will follow the story of the 11th from its formation in Trenton, NJ in August of 1862 and the events that brought it to this fateful field and its experience in the desperate combat that followed. This tour will involve some modest walking.   Meeting place: Intersection of United States Avenue and Sickles Avenue. 


June 11, 2019 Evening Walk        “What Mean These Stones? II: Culp’s Hill”     LBG Rich Goedkoop

This will be a walk down Culp’s Hill from the summit to Spangler’s Meadow looking at the significance of selected monuments on the right of the Union battle line. We will discuss the units, commanders, men as well as their monuments and dedications to better understand the  Battle, its evolving import and the memorial period of the Gettysburg National Military Park. This moderate walk of over 25 stops will cover about a mile over occasionally uneven terrain.  Meeting Place: Base of the Culp’s Hill Tower.


June 18, 2019 Evening Walk      “We have come to stay!” The Defense of the McPherson Farm”   LBG Bill Thomas 

The McPherson Farm was at the center of the fighting west of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. Here, Union forces tenaciously defended against Confederate attacks from both the west and the north beginning with the arrival of Calef’s battery in the early morning until the retreat to Seminary Ridge in the mid-afternoon. This tour will examine the farm as it existed at the time of the battle, the several efforts by the Confederates to dislodge the Union defenders, and the personal experiences of some of the men who struggled for this ground. Meeting place: 150th Pennsylvania Monument.


June 25, 2019 Evening Walk   “Earnest & Bloody Work”: The defense of West Cemetery Hill”   LBG Stuart Dempsey

The longest sustained combat of the battle of Gettysburg occurred in front of West Cemetery Hill, fought between Orland Smith’s Federal brigade and the Confederates of Pender’s Division. During nearly every daylight hour of July 2nd and 3rd, elements of these units engaged in deadly firefights for control of a stretch of high ground between Cemetery Hill and Seminary Ridge – a battlefield that is all but forgotten today. Our tour will examine the bitter contest that Abner Perrin called, “The heaviest skirmishing I have ever witnessed.”  Meeting place: Flagpole of the National Cemetery Annex (Steinwehr Avenue opposite Tommy’s Pizza).


July 9, 2019 Evening Walk     “Confederate Monumentation at GNMP”     LBG Therese Orr

While over 300 monuments dot the Gettysburg National Military Park landscape, most of them honor the Union veterans of this battle. Only twenty represent Confederates. This walk will explore the eleven Confederate State memorials along West and South Confederate Avenues. Dedicated between 1917 and 1982, we will learn  of the development of each memorial, from idea to design to dedication. Some were dedicated with sentiments of reconciliation and American patriotism. Other dedication ceremonies seemed to be refighting the Civil War. Why the difference? We will travel by car from site to site, ending at the picnic area on South Confederate Avenue.  Meeting place: North Carolina Memorial.  


July 16, 2019  Evening Walk   “If These Tress Could Speak: Witness Trees, Silent Sentinels to the Battle of Gettysburg     LBG Larry Korczyk

The tour will be a combination driving and walking tour. The walking will involve minimal exertion. The tour will feature as many as a dozen “Witness Trees” and the battle action that swirled around them. We will see these “Witness Trees” on all three days of battle at the critical spots of battle. So, bring a chair and listen to the stories that these trees, if they could talk, would tell.  Meeting place: Reynolds Death Marker,


July 23, 2019 Evening Walk   “The Fighting Bluebirds of Alexander Hays Division by Ziegler’s Grove”  LBG Jerry Hahn

The Ziegler’s Grove area was the scene of intense fighting on  July 3rd 1863 primarily by BG Alexander Hays Third Division of the Union Second Corps infantry with pieced together artillery support.  Almost 20% of the Medal of Honor recipients for Gettysburg came from the units here. It became one of the most visited, yet unrecognized and modified area of the battlefield. The details walk will be on even terrain and less than a mile. Meeting place: Meade equestrian monument. 


July 30, 2019 Evening Walk   “Did you get there? An examination of Capt. Samuel R. Johnston’s reconnaissance on July 2, 1863.”  LBG Chris Army

There is not a lot of contemporary writings about the reconnaissance of the Union left by Confederate Captain Samuel Johnston. This walk will examine and contemplate some of the possibilities of where the captain may have reached early on the morning of July 2nd, 1863 before returning to Seminary Ridge and discussing his findings with Robert E. Lee. This walk will be a combination walking and driving tour over relatively easy ground.  Meeting place: Parking lot on the west side of the Seminary Ridge museum.


August 6, 2019 Evening Walk     “We are going to have a fight”    LBGs Jim Hessler and Britt Isenberg

Studies of the July 2 battle for the Union Army’s left flank are usually dominated by Little Round Top, but the day’s most influential action occurred along the Emmitsburg Road in Joseph Sherfy’s peach orchard. Lee and Longstreet’s massive assault against the left was intended to seize the Peach Orchard for use as an artillery position to support the ongoing attack. However, the scheming Gen. Dan Sickles misinterpreted (or disobeyed?) his orders and occupied the orchard first. What followed was some of Gettysburg’s bloodiest and most controversial fighting. Sickles’ advanced position forced Longstreet to fight fo revery scrap of ground. The confederate attack crushed the Peach Orchard salient and threatened Gen. George Meade’s entire position.  The command decisions made on the Sherfy property influences actions on every part of the battlefield, including Culp’s Hill and the July 3 Pickett’s Charge. Hear the stories of heroism, horror, and peaches!   Meeting place Excelsior Brigade Monument.


August 13, 2019 Evening Walk       “Walk the Wheatfield with a Real Surgeon”    LBG John R. Krohn, MD

The “Bloody Wheatifeld” kept Civil War surgeons very busy. We will stop at several monuments where Dr. Krohn will cite injuries suffered by regimental members in order to illustrate the practice of medicine and surgery in 1863. Advances in medicine, such as the management of mass casualties, have been born of combat. We’ll visit an aid station for the 32nd Massachusetts, where a surgeon labored amidst the carnage. Dr. Krohn, board certified in both general and plastic surgery, practiced as a trauma surgeon for over 25 years.   Meeting place: New York Irish Brigade Celtic Cross monument. 


August 20, 2019 Evening Walk      “1917/1918 First World War Training Camps”   LBG Eric Lindblade

As one looks west from Cemetery Ridge towards Seminary Ridge, and then south in the direction of the Peach Orchard, naturally their mind goes to images of desperate attacks and a tenacious defense vividly playing out. But this is just one of the many layers of history that can be found on this part of the battlefield, and while often associated with the dramatic events of July 1863, it was once again used for military purposes as the United States Army prepared to take part in the First World War. Join us as we discuss the people, places, and events that unfolded in 1917 and 1918 as American soldiers trained in a great battlefield for action in the bloody fields of the Western Front and the lasting effects it had on the Gettysburg National Military Park.   Meeting place: Grand Army of the Republic Memorial (Albert Woolsen)


August 27, 2019 Evening Walk     “Soldiers National Cemetery”     LBG Fred Hawthorne

Battles produce casualties in prodigious numbers. Throughout history funeral pyres and mass graves on battlefields were the norm.  But here at Gettysburg in the aftermath of the battle a number of individuals acting together and alone set in motion a series of events that led to the creation of a formal burial ground for some of the men who gave “their last full measure of devotion.”  This walk will deal with the development of the cemetery, the burial for the dead, the stories of many of the men, living and dead, forever tied to the site and of course, the consecration ceremony which featured one of the most famous addresses in the world’s history.  Meeting place: Lincoln Speech Memorial.